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The Radiance of Being: Complexity, Chaos and the Evolution of Consciousness Paperback – October, 1996


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 351 pages
  • Publisher: Paragon House; 1st U.S. ed edition (October 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1557787557
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557787552
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,534,972 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 43 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 12, 1999
Format: Paperback
Allan Combs' The Radiance of Being is the kind of book one looks for but seldom finds on this subject. Most books on consciousness are either too technical and dry, or too loose and insubstantial. As Combs' beatiful and beautifully apt title suggests, this is a rare combination of scientific substance made accessible for a change with an easy flowing eloquence of writing style. Ranging from coverage on the consciousness theories of Jean Gebser, Ken Wilbur, and Sri Aurobindo to the relevance of chaos and complexity theory to the search for a scientific understanding of consciousness processes, this is a wonderful guide to the subject and a wonderful read. It is a book that America's pioneering psychologist in this area, William James, would have cherished.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Michelle Godfrey on November 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
If by "new agey" you mean drawing upon Eastern philosophy to expand current scientific thought on consciousness and its evolution, then the book will disappoint, yes. For me it served as potent seed material on further research into the origins and development of consciousness, of which Jaynes was certainly the next logical step. But Jaynes does not make the important connections between Western scientific thought on consciousnes and ancient wisdom of the Eastern mystical traditions which Combs treats quite carefully and creatively in his book. So I would suggest the two be read concurrently. Combs is decidedly more psychological, which I suspect will make it more accessible to readers interested in considering what chaos theory might mean for how we think, develop, and live, and what our next quantum leap might look like. Jaynes is more anthropological, and speaks to the human species. Combs speaks to the human being. I consider both views essential to understanding human consciousness evolution. As for readability, I believe Combs to be far ahead of Jaynes, but then I'm more at ease with psychology texts than anthropology. Plus, I think Combs has specific relevance to those who are interested in spiritual dimensions of consciousness -- for whom an Eastern world view cannot be overlooked. He spins physics with mysticism and evolution to inspire fresh thinking on the subject. That's not necessarily a "new age" approach... it's diversity of thought to which a Western thinker might do more than just tip the hat.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 31, 1996
Format: Paperback
A major new book on the nature of consciousness. It was
released in the U.K. the previous year and won the annual
award of the Scientific and Medical Network of the U.K., as
the best book of the year. It is highly unusual to have such
a mixture of cutting-edge science, philosophical depth,
and smooth, easy writing. The reader will find almost any
preconceptions they have about the nature of consciousness
challenged in reading this book, but will enjoy being
challenged. I can't imagine anyone not profiting from the
experience.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Daniel J. Miller on July 23, 1998
Format: Paperback
Dr. Combs has written an extraordinary book on consciousness and its relation to all of creation. The book moves beyond convention, applying the right amount of intellectual wisdom, pushing us beyond our short sighted thoughts on the subject of consciousness. The book is filled with many insights and thought provoking arguments. I recommend this book to anyone serious enought to think through their role in the grand scheme of things.
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